GWINNETT, Ga. - Reports have begun to surface involving the motives surrounding Thursday afternoon's escaped zebra and the chaos that ensued in downtown Atlanta.
Originally thought to be an accidental runaway, sources within the Gwinnett Braves (the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta MLB organization) and other anonymous leads within multiple sports and entertainment organizations throughout the industry and city, have confirmed otherwise.
The zebra was out to take the job of Chopper, the mascot of the Gwinnett Braves.
"I have no comment," said G-Braves General Manager North Johnson, who was recently tabbed to take over the burgeoning Minor League franchise. "That is, except to say, I've already realized this place is a zoo. A good zoo, of course - not a scare-the-kids kind of zoo. So, I don't blame him."
"What can you say about a person like that," said Chopper the mascot, speaking during a regularly-scheduled break from burrowing pesky holes in G-Braves groundskeeper Gerry Huppmann's Coolray Field dirt. "Some people will do anything to get their 15 minutes - even if that means acting like a complete animal."
The zebra, which broke away from Ringling Bros. circus handlers during a practice run for the night's Philips Arena performance, downed a fence and was set loose on Atlanta. The second-string zebra frolicked through the downtown side streets before rampaging toward Interstate 75/85 with bicycling policemen in hot pursuit, all for a chance at the spotlight in Gwinnett.
The Gwinnett Braves have decided not to press charges, and Ringling Bros. has agreed to bench the zebra for two performances and curb its intake of twigs.
"It's a long way from Atlanta to Gwinnett," said Chopper. "Especially in metaphorical terms in the mascot realm, but certainly if you're an animal ... walking ... up a highway. I mean, I really don't see the big deal. It's just a horse with misplaced marker swipes across its back."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.